It seems completely absurd, but the Tennessee Titans seem inclined to keep Ryan Tannehill and not try to get Tom Brady.
Among the potential outside suitors for Tom Brady, the Tennessee Titans have stood out some. A tie to head coach Mike Vrabel and a surprising run to the AFC title game last year pointed to a good situation.
But according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Titans are not interested in Brady and are instead working hard to get a deal done with Ryan Tannehill.
After taking over for Marcus Mariota last year, Tannehill was a revelation for the Titans. The team went 7-3 with him as the starter, as he led the league in passer rating (117.5), yards per attempt (9.6), yards per completion (13.6) and adjusted yards per attempt (10.2). It was good time to have a career year for Tannehill, as part of the trade that sent him to Tennessee from Miami included a restructuring so 2019 was the final year of his contract.
The NFL’s new CBA limits teams to using either the franchise tag or the transition tag, but not both as before. For the Titans, with running back Derrick Henry also hitting free agency, that creates a decision if multi-year deals can’t be worked out with both guys. Now one could get a new deal and the other could get a tag, or both could hit the market unabated.
On its face, the idea the Titans prefer Tannehill over Brady is patently ridiculous. But continuity does count for something, and the prospect of a shortened offseason in the wake of the coronavirus situation stands to make learning a whole new system a greater challenge for players who move teams. And even if there are changes around them, the quarterback is the most important cog in maintaining success.
The Titans found a formula that worked for them last year, which included the upgrade Tannehill offered under center. Having it get out they’re not in on Brady could be high-level misdirection. But rolling it back out this year, with Tannehill as the starter right out of the gate, looks like the No. 1 plan in Tennessee.